My Top 40 St. Louis Favorites


I’m turning 40 this month. I can’t quite wrap my mind around this milestone. Part of me is thinking, there’s no way … and then I look in the mirror to a head of hair that is much grayer than I would care to admit and many smile lines containing four decades of precious memories. I’ve traveled to some of the most incredible places, but St. Louis will ALWAYS be home. In honor of this next chapter, I wrote a list of my top 40 tried and true favorites— those St. Louis must-visit places that will always have my heart and remind me of a core family memory.


  1. Bluebells along the Rock Hollow Trail: this ocean of blue blooms is simply spectacular!
  2. Lafayette Park: tulips, a pond, scenic bridge, and SWANS. You just might feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale!
  3. Laumeier Sculpture Park: our favorite part is the art hike! My kids always look forward to an area called “Cromlech Glen.” Here, you will find a valley with two sets of stairs and a circular pathway at the top. Love that it’s also dog-friendly so our pup can come with us.
  4. Lone Elk Park: admire the elk and bison from the comfort of your own car.
  5. Daffodils at Shaw Nature Reserve: walk among THOUSANDS of blooms- I’m not sure there’s a more cheerful view!
  6. City Museum: explore all the indoor AND outdoor fun! Have you been down the 10-story slide?
  7. Strawberry Picking: we usually go to Eckert’s to greet the warmer temps with a tractor ride, farm views, and delicious strawberries that my kids literally eat by the pound!
  8. Little Creek Nature Area: on the first Saturday of the month, they host a Fun Day for families, which includes themed activities, outdoor adventures, and time to feed sweet animals.
  9. Museum of Transportation: Creation Station is such a gem for kiddos 5 and under. We especially love walking around outside to see all of the full-size train cars!
  10. The Gateway Arch: April marks National Park Week- perfect timing to explore the symbol of our city and the greater Midwest! Did you know that there are 5 miles of paved trails at the Arch grounds? We had the most perfect weather on our last visit to see the views from the top!


  1. Sunflower fields at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area: they are STUNNING, especially during the golden hour before sunset.
  2. Cards Game: I will forever believe that St. Louis has the best fans!
  3. Farmer’s Market in Tower Grove Park: shop, eat, and play! Don’t miss the flowers around the waterlily pond area near The Piper Palm House. My kids also really love to climb on the ruins in front of the fountain pond.
  4. The Muny: we were mesmerized by last summer’s performance of Beauty and The Beast complete with fireworks! Summer 2024 brings The Little Mermaid to the stage.
  5. Splash pad fun: to beat the heat and humidity, we personally love Veteran’s Tribute Park, Vago Park, Eise Park, and Millennium Park.
  6. The Chain of Rocks Bridge: walk across the Mississippi River! It’s quite thrilling to see the rapids and that 22 degree bend in the middle. The Missouri side of this bridge is set to reopen this April.
  7. Enjoy a patio: you just can’t beat Bowood by Niche, Rosalita’s, Billy G’s, or Rockwell Beer Garden on a beautiful summer afternoon/evening.
  8. 4th of July Fireworks: we’ve soaked in magical views under The Arch and Twin Oaks Park.
  9. Sandcastle Beach at The Magic House: where else can you play in the sand in the heart of St. Louis?
  10. Longview Farms: this park is truly a shaded GEM! There’s a paved trail around a beautiful lake, usually a fairy garden or 2, and a playground. If the horses aren’t in the pasture, stop in the big red barn!


  1. See peak Fall colors: the golden canopy at Citygarden and the Red Maples lining Art Hill are breathtaking! We also ADORE the Lone Wolf Trail at Castlewood State Park to see bluff/river vistas. You just have to make it up the first BIG hill- it gets SO much easier after that point!
  2. Fall festivities at Thies Pumpkinland: endless hours of fun logged on the tire swings, giant straw castles, slides, zip-lines, and obstacle courses.
  3. Family Sundays at The Art Museum: I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve participated in these interactive events that bring art to life!
  4. Apple & pumpkin picking: you can’t go wrong at Herman’s, Eckert’s, or Braeutigam Orchards. I can taste the apple cider donuts right now!
  5. Butterfly House: there’s nothing like an escape to a tropical oasis that’s a balmy 85 degrees as the temperatures drop! This past December, my daughter and I took a class where we made a fairy garden- it was just as magical as it sounds! Note: they are always closed on Mondays and the month of January for maintenance.
  6. Sledding down Art Hill: a St. Louis classic! We also love the hill at Faust Park.
  7. ‘Tis the season for Pop-Up Bars: For date night, my absolute favorite is Public School House. Be ready to snag reservations the moment they are released as tickets go quickly! If the whole family is along, try The Sleigh Shed at Union Station. Pro-tip: put your name on the list for lunch and then check out the aquarium while you wait for a table to open.
  8. Christmas Traditions Festival in St. Charles: be transported to a Hallmark scene! My kids LOVE to collect the character trading cards.
  9. Winterfest: enjoy the Tree Lighting Ceremony and FREE ice skating on opening day! With the arch framed in the background, there isn’t a more beautiful spot to kick off the Holiday season.
  10. Nutcracker Performance at The Touhill: we decided to turn this into a mom/daughter tradition. The Waltz of the Snowflakes truly captured our hearts!


Anytime Favorites

  1. Missouri Botanical Garden
  2. Forest Park
  3. The Fabulous Fox Theatre
  4. Grant’s Farm
  5. The St. Louis Zoo
  6. Central Park in Chesterfield
  7. Coffee: Living Room Coffee & Kitchen, The Annex, Teleo Coffee, Fiddlehead Fern Cafe
  8. Ice Cream: Ted Drewes, Serendipidy, Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery
  9. Cooking Classes at The Kitchen Conservatory or Kitchen Social
  10. Pizza at Serra’s or Felix’s

This list is NOT exhaustive of all the amazing gems that St. Louis has to offer. I barely scratched the surface! My hope is that it inspires you to keep adventuring in this beautiful city.


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